Following the outbreak of Lassa fever, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is pleading with the government to guarantee the provision of more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical personnel.
Out of the 13 active cases, some health professionals have been affected in the line of duty.
One person has so far died since the outbreak of the disease.
In an interview with Citi News, the acting General Secretary for the Association, Dr. Richard Selormey, said government must make sure that every health facility has all the necessary tools.
“PPEs can never be enough because, they are not items that are reused. So, we call for more PPE to be used. Generally speaking, the disease spreads via direct body contact, unlike the situation of COVID and other respiratory viruses that are spread through droplets or air. So, with the increase in the number of cases, that will require more and more PPEs, and we call on government to ensure that adequate number of PPE are procured for facilities and the disease centers supporting treatment.”
GMA has advised the general public, especially healthcare providers, to adhere to infection prevention and control protocols to curtail the spread.
The Ghana Health Service said it is contact tracing some 56 persons who came in contact with those affected by the virus.
The GMA in a statement dated March 1, 2023, acknowledged the presence of the fever in Ghana and advised individuals to strictly adhere to the safety protocols.
“The virus spreads to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated with the urine or faeces of mice. It also spreads from one person to the other through direct contact with bodily fluids e.g. urine, blood, faeces or contaminated clothes and beddings of an infected person”.
It warned that the consequences will be dire with non-adherence to the protocols.
“This risk of spread among health professionals is high when infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols are not adhered to during the care of patients”.
The symptoms of Lassa Fever are identical to other feverish conditions, but have severe outcomes.
Symptoms may include sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, and abdominal pain and severe cases may result in bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or stomach.